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Flying Saucers

May 8, 2011

One of the things I liked to do when I was doing grad work at the UW was to spend time in the periodicals section looking at old magazines. On one occasion I sat down with the first edition of Galaxy Magazine, one of several sci-fi magazines published at the time. Inside was notice of a contest the magazine was running, a Flying Saucer contest. Readers were asked to submit a 200-word essay explaining their theory of flying saucers. Forty prizes were offered, some of them, well,  strange, to say the least. The contest closed October 31st, 1950. I checked every issue for the remainder of 1950, all of 1951 and all of 1952 but, sadly, no winners were ever announced. It would have been entertaining to have read the essays. In any case, here is the original announcement of the contest, along with the list of prizes. Also, a couple of links to Buchanan and Goodman’s 1956 novelty recording of  “The Flying Saucers – Parts 1 & 2” as well as their follow-up, “Buchanan and Goodman on Trial.” Enjoy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dave  

 Here are the links to the Flying Saucer songs. B&G recorded the Flying Saucers in 1956 and it rose to #3 on the charts. They were subsequently sued by 30 record companies for interspersing snippets of many songs (without permission) throughout the recording. The judge, however, ruled that their work was a “burlesque,” making it a new work of their own. Following that ruling, B & G wrote and recorded Buchanan and Goodman on Trial. (You may have to copy and paste—the links aren’t active in preview but may be in the post.  Heard from a reader that both links take you to the B&G on Trial. Try copying and pasting the first link.)

And finally for this week, something new: ‘Toonicons. I was going thru my handwritten journal of many years ago and came across these little cartoons I’d made. The concept may not be original but I’ve never seen these before so I can at least claim to have done this independently. Here are a couple.

Till next week . . .

4 Comments leave one →
  1. NRJ permalink
    May 9, 2011 5:29 am

    Perhaps the entire contest was a hoax for their last issue. Were they in business after this issue? I could have enjoyed some of the prizes if I were only alive at that time (I’m not as old as some of you folks). As for the PM/FM thing, I’m way past frequencies… By the way, the links to the B&G 78 work, but they both play the trial record. Apparently the flying saucers have left this universe…

    • May 9, 2011 2:37 pm

      This was the first issue of Galaxy and, as I mentioned, I looked thru the next two years’ worth of issues and found nothing. If you copy and paste the first link, it should take you to the Flying Saucers, pts 1 & 2; it did for me, anyway. Don’t know why the link does otherwise.

  2. Bob Seidensticker permalink
    May 9, 2011 3:45 pm

    One of the prizes was a photo session … at a *cyclotron* center?? I’m not sure what nuclear physics has to do with portrait photography. Or a 3-day fashion course has to do with flying saucers.

  3. May 9, 2011 6:48 pm

    AS I noted, the prizes were rather bizarre. I guess you get your prizes where you find them.

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